Two wins in final two days
ON Thursday, goalkeeper Shane Harrison made the decisive stop in a penalty shootout to give County Down a 5-4 win over County Antrim at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney.
The game had finished 1-1 in normal time.
Down took a sixth minute lead after Antrim failed to clear Sean Morgan’s free-kick. Centre half Calum Birney was ideally placed to steer the ball into the bottom corner past Ross Glendinning.
Antrim equalised two minutes later. Neil Lowry had acres of spaces out on the left flank and he whipped the ball into the top corner of the Down net.
In the shootout, Harrison denied Neil Lowry who took County Antrim’s third spot-kick. County Down scored all five penalties with Kyle Cherry, Thomas Healey, Scott Burns, Curtis Gallacher and Jamie Jackson all showing remarkable composure from the spot.
Calum Birney’s second goal in as many days saw County Down finish fifth in the Slemish Trophy game by beating County Tyrone 1-0 at the University on Friday.
Birney got on the scoresheet after just eight minutes. Curtis Gallacher took the corner on the left and Birney headed in at the back post.
County Tyrone almost equalised at the death. Stefan Lavery’s 30 yard free-kick came back off the Down post.
Chairman Bobbie Reid made presentations to the players at the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine following the game on Friday. Calum Birney was the recipient of the McCloskey Cup and he also collected the award for the County Down top scorer. Thomas Healey was named Players Player by his teammates.
County Down Premier Squad: Shane Harrison, Mark Forsythe, Adam Allen, Thomas Healey, Joshua Robinson, Rory Battersby, Jamie Jackson, Scott Burns, Ryan Craig, Chris Curran-Curran, Sean Morgan, Calum Birney, Kurtis Bell, Glenn Stephenson, Curtis Gallacher, Kyle Cherry, Steven Gordon, Andrew Wallace.